Employers do overlook the capabilities of older workers to help fill the shortage of workforce skills. The annual Skills Gap survey of 1685 executives by the Australian Institute of Management Victoria/Tasmania found that 77 per cent of organisations have a gap in skills. Just 3 per cent of those companies use baby boomers in mentoring or coaching roles while only 21 per cent have programs in place to access the skill of mature workers. “Companies are placing great reliance on training and internal means to close their skills gap but they are overlooking their older and experienced staff,” says AIM VT chief executive Susan Heron. “It’s a skills blind spot.” The findings bode well for the federal government’s new jobs bonus scheme that will pay employers $1000 if they give a worker aged 50 or over a job for at least three months. Herron says there’s much upside in tapping into the older workers’ skills.